Summary: 1- We know that we are in Him 2- We know the God of love 3- We know the security of salvation
INTRO.- ILL.- Vance Havner was a southern Baptist preacher. (1901 - 1986) He was a very popular "revivalist" and Bible conference speaker and authored over 30 books of sermons and devotional books. He became a Christian as a boy, licensed to preach at twelve and ordained at fifteen. His charm, wit, and homespun style of relating biblical truth were convicting and unforgettable. Here are some words from Havner when he was being interviewed.
Havner: Circumstances change, but preaching never changes. We preach a message so much greater than ourselves. We must give it our best as we stand behind the pulpit. I hear so much today about tension. If the preacher is going to give preaching his best, he needs to be tense. I don’t mean nervous but keyed up with God’s power and message. There’s not anything that can rejuvenate me like preaching. Preaching should be full of life. It is life. R. G. Lee used to say, "There’s not anything that’s wrong with me that a good sermon won’t cure".
How do you prepare yourself and your sermons to preach? Havner: I don’t have a set pattern. I like to do a lot of walking and thinking. Walking is a thing of the past. Preachers are involved in too many meetings and programs. Meditation and solitude are lacking in many of our preachers.
Not so much praying, but just thinking about the things of God. I have a place down the road where I do a lot of walking and thinking. Occasionally, I get distracted by someone on a bicycle or one of these joggers. I like to tell the story about the man who had a heart attack jogging from a health food store. You can’t do much thinking while jogging and gasping for breath.
Very funny. Thinking is obviously very good. And the reason some preachers don’t produce much is because they don’t think much.
ILL.- It’s like that story about Little Emily who was complaining to her mother that her stomach hurt. Her mother replied, "That’s because it’s empty. Maybe you should try putting something in it."
The next day, the preacher came to Emily’s family’s house for lunch. He mentioned having his head hurt, to which Emily immediately replied, "That’s because it’s empty. Maybe you should try putting something in it."
ILL.- Someone said: "Some sermons are like chickens with their heads cut off- once you think the sermon is done, it just jumps back up and runs in another direction!" I’ve heard sermons like that.
ILL.- A woman by the name of Gladys Dunne was visiting a church for the first time. After the service, as the congregation was exchanging greetings, she extended her hand to a visitor and said, "Hi, I’m Gladys Dunn." The visitor said, "I’m glad he’s done, too!"
ILL.- The preacher was greeting folks at the door after the service. A woman said, "Preacher, that was a very good sermon." The preacher said, "Oh great, then I have to give the credit to the Holy Spirit." The lady said, "Well, it wasn’t THAT good!"
Vance Havner’s wrote: I feel like American humorist Josh Billings who said, “I’d rather know a few things for certain than be sure of a lot of things that ain’t so.” I AGREE! And I think there are many people in our world who are sure they’re sure about many things that ain’t so! God help us to be sure, however, about things that ARE SO!